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First Home Buyer Guideline

Buying a first home is the most exciting and probably the biggest financial commitment that first home buyers need to consider. It is a long-term commitment that should be carefully planned. As it’s your first time, you may not be familiar with the upfront costs and paperwork that you’ll have to work through.

In this guideline, we have all the basic information that needs to be aware of before purchasing your first home in South Australia.

How much deposit do I need to buy a house?

You need a 10 to 20 percent deposit of the total purchase price. It can be lower, but then there might be stringent conditions placed on your mortgage. However, first home buyers can reduce the amount of money they need to save for a deposit by applying for a first home buyer grant that will be payable by the state government when buying a land or building a new home.

For further information about first home buyer grant click the link

The three ways to purchase your home

Private Treaty

The most common property transaction is a private treaty sale. This is when the vendor sets the property on the market with the price they would like to achieve but, it is up to the buyer to decide how much they are prepared to pay and real estate agents negotiate with prospective buyers to achieve a sale as close to the vendor price as possible.


An auction is a public sale conducted by a licensed auctioneer and is governed by strict rules. At an auction, the bidders ultimately decide how much they are willing to pay for the property. All bidders will be given an opportunity to place a bid and the auction is considered complete when the highest bid has been reached. There is a reserve price, which is essentially the minimum price the home will sell for and must be set in writing by the vendor before the auction start. If bids surpass the reserve and you are the highest bidder, you have to sign the contract on the same day.


Buying your first property by tender is a process wherein you submit a single offer, usually accompanied by a deposit of 10 percent of the offered price, and might be accepted or rejected by the vendor. In the tender system, a buyer does not get to see who they are bidding against (if anyone) and submit their best and final offer in a sealed bid.

For more information, contact our sales representative on 0424 448 380 or (08) 7230 1515.

There is the number of costs associated with buying a property that you must take into account when setting your budget and organizing finance. As these costs are varying in very property, so we recommend you to speak to your real estate agent, your conveyancer or solicitor to clarify all these fees based on the purchasing price.

  • Stamp Duty
  • Land Tax
  • Emergency Services Levy
  • Conveyancing Fees
  • Transfer Fees
  • Mortgage or Loan Application Fees
  • Pest and Building Inspection Reports
  • Utility Connections
  • Insurance

Where to look for a property

This is where the professional team at Rubies House can be extremely useful. With experience and market knowledge, we are able to deliver you a shortlist of potential homes that suit your budget, but there are other ways you can also look through such as, domain, newspaper and other social media.

The importance of inspections

Once you have set up your budge and pre-approval loan organized, then the next step is to choose your favorite suburbs and book for an open inspection. When you found your potential property, it is important to get a qualified building inspector to assess it for structural integrity, safe electrical fittings, and future maintenance costs. You should also get a pest inspection to ensure the property doesn’t have a termite problem or other pest issues.

Making an offer

When making an offer and negotiate it with the vendor or real estate agent, its best to offer your best price. In some cases, the vendor will accept a higher offer without giving other buyers the opportunity to negotiate with them. However, it’s up to the buyer to decide how much they are prepared to offer for the property. All offers must be made in writing and signed by the buyer and the agent must pass all offers on to the vendor as soon as possible. Offers are not legally binding until the vendor and buyer sign a contract of sale. The buyer can make an offer in the form of a contract of sale. A condition can be added to the contract – eg the offer will be withdrawn if the vendor doesn’t sign the contract of sale by a certain date. The contract of sale will become legally binding once it is signed by the vendor.

Contracts of sale

The contract of sale is one of the most important documents when buying your first home include details such as:

  • Personal information of you and the vendor,
  • How and when you pay the 10 percent deposit, and where it will be held,
  • The time and date of final settlement, at which point the title is transferred,
  • Any cooling-off periods that apply (in South Australia, these are two clear business days), the buyer is entitled to a cooling-off period of two business days. This starts when the vendor’s statement was received or from the date the contract of sale was signed, whichever is later.
  • This will give the buyer an opportunity to withdraw from the sale without being held legally responsible. However, the holding deposit paid when the offer was made can be kept by the vendor. A buyer can withdraw from a contract of sale by completing and signing a cooling-off notice. This must be delivered to the vendor or vendor’s agent by:
  • registered post
  • fax
  • in person
  • Any conditions on the sale (subject to finance or inspections, for example), and
  • A warning statement on penalties for termination of the contract.
  • Buying your first home in South Australia can be a daunting process, but with the right real estate agent and financial professionals by your side, it can be simple. Get in touch for more information on 0424 448 380 or (08) 7230 1515.

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